When Stoke City takes on Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday morning, the Potters will be without their club record signing Xherdan Shaqiri (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN or online via Live Extra).
The Swiss winger completed his move to the Britannia earlier this week for $20 million, but will not make his debut as he must complete a suspension from his time at Inter Milan.
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Shaqiri was handed a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation in the Coppa Italia tournament, and although he is no longer a member of Inter Milan, he must still serve the suspension at Stoke.
Below is a statement released on Stoke City’s club website, expressing their disappointment that Shaqiri’s debut must be put on hold:
THE CLUB have received International Clearance for Xherdan Shaqiri to complete his registration as a Stoke City player.
Unfortunately the clearance from the Italian FA carried a sporting sanction of a one-game ban which applied to the Coppa Italia competition last season.
In accordance with FIFA Regulations, The FA have no alternative but to implement the suspension of another Association, but the Club have expressed its disappointment that the suspension has been applied to a Premier League fixture this season rather than to a comparative cup competition fixture.
As a result the player will miss tomorrow’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.
It’s a tough blow for Mark Hughes’ side, as Shaqiri’s speed and skill on the counter could have been a game-changer against Tottenham’s attack-minded style of play. Now he’ll have to wait until August 22 to make his Stoke debut, when the Potters take on Norwich City at Carrow Road.